This weekend the Kansas City Chiefs will face the Cincinnati Bengals in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game. Considering the relative weakness of the Chiefs’ remaining schedule, this game could prove crucial toward locking down home field advantage for the fifth straight season.
If the Chiefs are going to win, it might have to happen without some key offensive players. Wide receiver Kadarius Toney is yet to practice this week. He is still dealing with a hamstring injury that cost him last week’s win over the Los Angeles Rams. Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon is popped up on the injury report with a hamstring injury and will also not practice Thursday, according to Chiefs reporter Matt McMullen.
Toney hit the ground running when Kansas City traded for him. He had 90 total yards and a touchdown in his first full game against the Jaguars but hurt his hamstring the following week.
The Chiefs did get some good news though. JuJu Smith-Schuster returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with an illness.
This is a huge game for both Kansas City and Cincinnati. The Bengals are tied with the Baltimore Ravens atop the AFC North and still have a shot at the first-round bye and overall one seed. That is currently occupied by the Chiefs, who are 9-2. A win for Kansas City all but eliminates the Bengals from top-seed contention.
However, if the Chiefs lose, that brings the Bengals within a game. It could also potentially drop them behind the Buffalo Bills in the AFC standings.
The Bills are 8-3 and play at the 6-5 New England Patriots Thursday night. But they beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium earlier this year. So, every win is crucial at this point.